Digital Theory


Fall 2018 launch

Digital technologies permeate our culture today, leaving virtually no area of meaning-making untouched. Vast social media platforms struggle to cope with the political consequences of their own scale, economics increasingly acknowledges a new type of capital in digital data, and artificial intelligence has gained an infrastructural role in our societies through the help of planetary-scale computing.

The Digital Theory H-Lab seeks to develop and maintain the broad-based, interdisciplinary conceptual framework necessary for understanding and transforming the way we live in and with the digital.

Employing a workshop-based, collaborative learning approach to the history and theory of the digital, the Lab fosters projects and writing that contribute to a theoretical framework for understanding the nature of the digital. We have a particular focus on machine learning and the new AI, including neural nets and large language models. Some results have been published in Critical Inquiry, and the Lab maintains a regular local meeting schedule as well as a talk and works-in-progress series in hybrid format with our international affiliates.


Lab Team

  • Leif Weatherby
    Associate Professor, Department of German, Arts and Science
  • David Bering-Porter
    Assistant Professor, Culture and Media, The New School
  • Zachary Coble
    Head, Digital Scholarship Services, NYU Bobst Library
  • Lisa Gitelman
    Professor, Media and English, Steinhardt
  • Ryan Healy
    Doctoral Candidate, Department of English, Arts and Science
  • Samuel Kellogg
    Doctoral Candidate, Media Culture and Communication, Steinhardt
  • Joseph Lemelin
    Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Stony Brook
  • Emma Rae Bruml Norton
    Doctoral Student, Media Culture and Communication, Steinhardt
  • Joshua Scannell
    Assistant Professor, Media Studies, The New School
  • Clifford Siskin
    Professor, English and American Literature, Arts and Science
  • Claire Y. Song
    Doctoral candidate, Department of Comparative Literature, Arts and Science

“The ideas that we regularly discuss have benefitted my teaching by expanding my knowledge of the history of computation and cybernetics. The communal close reading has been genuinely valuable to my teaching overall.”

David Bering-Porter, Digital Theory Lab